HARTLEPOOL United boss Ronnie Moore told pal Phil Brown he was “lucky” that Southend United took victory at Victoria Park.
Pools battered the promotion-chasers for the last 20 minutes but the Shrimpers survived some torrid pressure.
But survive it they did to inflict Pools first defeat in seven games.
Despite the loss, Pools remained outside the bottom two after their relegation rivals all lost.
The only goal came in the 53rd minute when Will Atkinson was afforded too much room in the Pools box and he fired in from 12 yards.
Moore pushed Scott Harrison up front for the final 15 minutes nd they dominated the later stages.
Dan Jones hit the bar while sub Lewis Hawkins went close with an overhead kick deep into stoppage time.
“Phil was a lucky man to get away with three points and he knows that,” said Moore.
“Dan Jones hit the crossbar and I’d love to see that again – he reckons it was in but the linesman who was in a great position said it hit the line.
“Lewis was so close at the end.
“All we lacked was a little bit of luck.”
Pools suffered an early blow when they lost Jordan Hugill in the opening seconds.
He suffered blurred vision after a collision with a Southend defender and was replaced by Marlon Harewood in the sixth minute.
“Jordan couldn’t see out of one of his eyes,” said Moore. “So he had to come off.
“We are getting him assessed, hopefully he will be OK.”
Harewood had a brilliant game for Pools, arguably his best of the season.
“Maz had a terrific shot and their keeper made a great save just before half-time – that was going in the bottom corner,” said Moore. “I was pleased for him, that’s how we know he can play.
“Him and Franksy had a nice little partnership going and then in the second half when I put Scott up front, they had a nice combination going too.”